In 2013, there were 4,678 commercial vehicles or heavy trucks involved in accidents in the state of Washington, as reported by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries, some of which may cause permanent impairment or disabilities, or even death. One common cause of trucking accidents is an aggressive or unsafe lane change.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by a truck driver’s aggressive or unsafe behavior, you may be eligible to recover damages in the form of pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more.
Aggressive and Unsafe Lane Changing by Trucks
When a regular passenger car makes an aggressive or unsafe lane change, the risk of an accident is high. When a large truck makes an unsafe lane change, though, the chances of a serious accident are even higher.
The sheer size of large trucks make them much more at-risk for an accident. In fact, while the average passenger car weighs a few thousand pounds, the average large truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds. Controlling something that large can be hard to do, especially in the case of aggressive driving.
Making an unsafe lane change doesn’t just include cutting off a vehicle while changing lanes. The following are examples of unsafe lane changing.
- Failing to check for other vehicles before changing lanes.
- Failing to use signals before making a lane change.
- Making a lane change at an inappropriate time or into an inappropriate lane (Washington law restricts trucks from traveling in the left lane if a road has three or more lanes going the same direction, except HOV lanes).
- Making a lane change while the trucker is distracted.
- Misjudging the distance of other vehicles.
- Driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Liability for an Accident Caused by a Truck’s Unsafe Lane Change
If you’ve been in an accident caused by a truck driver’s unsafe or aggressive actions, you may be wondering who’s liable for your injuries. Usually, the truck driver or trucking company will be liable if the accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligent actions.
Negligence refers to failing to meet a legal standard of care, and is usually applicable when a driver fails to operate in a safe, reasonable, or lawful manner. As such, if a truck driver changed lanes unsafely or aggressively, and if the lane change caused an accident that resulted in your injury, then the driver and the driver’s employer (the trucking company) may be liable.
In order to determine liability, traffic laws, commercial trucking laws, and the actions of both drivers involved will be assessed. If the truck driver is liable, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm caused to you.
If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by the unsafe actions of a truck driver, compensation in the form of funeral expenses, the deceased’s lost wages, and more may be recoverable.
How an Attorney Can Help if You Were Hurt Because of a Truck’s Unsafe Lane Change
Following a severe injury or loss of a love one, trying to prove negligence and liability on your own can be daunting and frustrating. In order to assist you along the way, the attorneys at Max Meyers Law PLLC are ready to help.
If you need someone to advocate for your rights as an accident victim, our attorneys can provide you with all you need to know about personal injury law, and guide you through the process of filing and fighting your claim.
To get started on filing a personal injury claim to recover damages if a truck’s unsafe lane changing caused you injury, call us now at 425-399-7000.